Female ref Mahoney to make Shield history

History will be made at the Ranfurly Shield challenge in Oamaru next Friday.

No, North Otago will not win the log o' wood - well, it could but it appears unlikely - but the match will be refereed by a woman.

Wairarapa-Bush referee Rebecca Mahoney will referee the match, according to a report by The Newsroom yesterday.

She will be the first woman to referee a Ranfurly Shield challenge. The game is being played at Whitestone Contracting Stadium.

Mahoney has had a swift rise up the refereeing ranks. The former Black Fern started officiating in 2015 and last year became the first female referee of a first-class men's match, refereeing three games in the Heartland Championship.

She has officiated at the sevens World Cup, the Commonwealth Games and in a rapidly growing number of tests, including two women's Six Nations tests in the northern hemisphere earlier this year. She has just returned from the women's test series in the United States.

A farmer in Eketahuna, she is married with two daughters.

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